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22 July 2016
Aboriginal history revealed in caves

Located on the Salisbury Island, which lie 60km off the southern coast of Western Australia, are a series of caves, which contain Aboriginal artefacts and is patrolled by sharks. Besides the archaeologists, traditional owners, ablone divers, and filmmakers have helped search for the archaeological artefacts.
     David Guilfoyle, who works for Applied Archaeology Australia, is the leader of the project has that: "The present-day mainland is 60 kilometres to the north of the island, and has documented evidence of human occupation in granite caves, extending at least 13,000 years before present,î adding that "So we know people were living here when they could walk to this limestone ridge.î
     The area around the island rises from between 80m to 100m above the flat coastal plan, and would have been a distinctive feature for the inhabitants of the region in the late Pleistocene period. At the height of the ice age 18,000 years ago the caves, which are now underwater, would have offered shelter for these people. However, in the modern period the area is almost patrolled by sharks, who feed on the local wildlife.
     The research has been described by Doc Reynolds, a traditional owner and senior heritage director for the Esperance Tjaltjaak Native Title Aboriginal Corporation: "This place would have looked like Uluru in the red centre of Australia ó a massive feature surrounded by low, flat bushland and rocky outcrops. It would have drawn my ancestors here for the many resources it provided. From an Aboriginal perspective, it's been a mind-blowing cultural experience, to actually stand on an island that used to be joined to the mainland all those years ago, and you think that I may be the first Aboriginal person to stand on that island since."

Edited from ABC AU News (20 June 2016)

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